Hartest: Martin Knock, who was due in court on child sex offences, died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Ipswich Crown Court Ipswich Crown Court

Thursday, July 10, 2014
11:00 AM

A man due in court on child sex offences died from carbon monoxide poisoning, an inquest has heard.

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Police found the body of Martin Knock at his home in Hartest in February after he failed to turn up for the first day of his trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

An inquest in Bury St Edmunds yesterday heard that the 49-year-old’s post-mortem examination found the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, with Mr Knock found to have a deadly level in his body.

However, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean stopped short of confirming Mr Knock killed himself, instead recording an open conclusion.

“We do not have a death from an overdose of tablets – the death was from carbon monoxide poisoning,” added Dr Dean.

“There are unanswered questions about the way the death occurred.”

Police attended Mr Knock’s home in The Row on February 10, and found all the windows were shut and the doors were locked from the inside.

Once inside, they found large amounts of chopped wood, lighter fluid and matches, as well as packets of prescription drugs. They also found a barbecue in Mr Knock’s bedroom.

Mr Dean acknowledged that police had found a note, but this was four years old and not placed in a prominent position, and therefore was not being linked to any possible suicide.

In October, Mr Knock denied 10 charges of assaulting a girl under the age of 13 between July 2007 and July 2010.

He also denied three charges of assaulting a girl under 13 by penetration between July 2007 and July 2009.

Yesterday’s hearing heard that his sister Mandy had described the allegations as “a complete and utter shock”.

He had reportedly told one neighbour “I’d rather top myself than be accused of something I didn’t do”, while a friend of the family also reportedly said Mr Knock had discussed suicide.

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